Bharti to debut TD-LTE this month

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

Indian incumbent operator Bharti Airtel plans to launch TD-LTE services in one state this month, the company has revealed.

CEO Sanjay Kapoor told Press Trust of India that the company will launch services in Kolkata later in April, becoming the first Indian operator to go live with 4G.

Bharti paid 33.14 billion rupees ($655.6 million) for 4G spectrum in four circles during the $8 billion broadband wireless access (BWA) auction.

The company won 20-MHz of 4G spectrum in the circles of Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka.

Bharti is believed to have contracted ZTE to provide equipment for the Kolkata rollout through a deal signed in October last year.

The company has also handed a contract to NSN covering the Maharashtra rollout.

Launching this month will give Bharti a head-start in the race for 4G customers, but it is not the only company to be planning a TD-LTE rollout.

Reliance Industries is planning a $1 billion pan-India TD-LTE rollout, having secured spectrum licenses in each circle through the acquisition of what is now Reliance Infotel.

Reliance Infotel acquired 20-MHz of BWA spectrum in each of India's telecom circles for 128.47 billion rupees ($2.54 billion) during the auction.

Qualcomm also won spectrum in the auction in with the stated goal of stimulating adoption of TD-LTE in the market, and last month finally received its licenses after a protracted application process.

 

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